Thursday, 31 May 2012

Colleagues in organising

I'm delighted by, and proud of, the wonderful video (created for us by the superb Media On Demand) of our member conference for apdo-uk a few weeks ago.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Jubilee! Celebrate by getting sorted...

The sun appears to have decided to come back just in time for a time of celebration. Thank goodness for that.

My own contribution in the celebrations will be to take part in our village's Jubilee Party: I'm part of a team providing a concert of music of the kind that you might have heard on the radio in June 1952. Researching the era to provide the appropriate entertainment, it's struck me many times just how things have changed - and how our 'stuff' has changed.

In 1952, the war was still a very vivid recent memory. Some rationing measures were still in place. 'Make do and mend' had been drummed into the British; it was 'the spirit that won the war'. Most people didn't have much, and they were careful with the use of what they did have - whether household items (fabulous new gadgets such as the Kenwood Chef - my mother was so proud of hers!), or consumables such as food.

This 'spirit of the blitz' was a wonderful thing when it came to economy and re-use; a less disposable society than we have now. However, this is sometimes very difficult to deal with from a 'clutter' point of view. It's not unusual for my clients to find it very hard to throw things away - and for them to 'blame the war'. One never threw anything away, and even though that was sixty years ago, old habits die very hard.

On the other hand, one wonders if we've gone too far in the opposite direction. We don't need to be rich to accumulate 'stuff'; much can be purchased with very small amounts of money; and worse, it's much easier to obtain credit in the twenty-first century than it's ever been before. Getting into debt is far too easy.

Clutter is most certainly a relatively new phenomenon - whether because of 'the spirit of the blitz' inability to throw anything away, or because of the rampant consumerism of the last few decades. How would it be if you made a Jubilee resolution to get your stuff sorted once and for all?

If you're willing to take a long hard look at what you have; to consider and be honest about what you do and don't need, what you do and don't love; if you're willing to figure out the right places to keep the stuff that you do keep - let me help you!

In celebration of this Diamond Jubilee, I'm offering you a very special chance to get it sorted...

I'm reserving spaces for up to six clients - one for each decade that we're celebrating - to enjoy an extraordinary 50% of my usual rates. Seven hours' work would usually cost you £280 at my normal rates; these seven people will receive seven hours of my time each (enough to do some serious sorting out, believe me) at the very special price of £140.

What sort of thing could I help you with?

Your study; your filing system; your wardrobe; your sitting room - any part of your home or workplace that needs a good sorting-out. It doesn't necessarily mean throwing loads of stuff away, either; as you'll see elsewhere on my blog, decluttering is just one part of the organising process - it's often got just as much to do with where and how you keep the stuff you keep as it does with the stuff you dispose of.

What do other people say?

For testimonials, either see my website or visit my page on thebestofnorwich.

Think what a difference it could make to you.
If you think this would be a great way to celebrate, get in touch with me today. Do it soon; there will only be six of these special days available (limited to one session per person at this special rate). (Oh, and don't forget to mention that it's the 'Jubilee' offer that you're responding to.)

  • The dates need to be booked for mutually convenient times during June.
  • I am normally able to work weekends or evenings if required at no extra charge
  • Mileage charges will apply in addition to the fees above
  • All normal terms & conditions will apply

What are you waiting for? Let's get it sorted - and have a wonderful Jubilee weekend!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Hoarder or clutterbug?

I've been watching with a mixture of relief, fascination and horror the recent glut of tv programmes about chronic hoarding problems. In my work as a professional organiser, I can truthfully say that I very seldom come across anybody who is a 'hoarder' in that sense. Plenty of folks have stuff they need help sorting, or storing, or disposing of; some may need help seeing the wood for the trees; some may (as one client memorably put it) just be suffering from 'can't-be-bothered syndrome' (that wasn't her exact expression!).

However, for some people it's a far more serious problem, possibly endangering life and limb. Hoarding is coming to be accepted as a genuine psychological and medical problem, in the same way as (for example) alcoholism may become an unwanted behaviour with true roots and potential treatment. They can't (and shouldn't) be dismissed as 'laziness' or 'malingering'.

I have written at some length about my feelings on the matter, and in my capacity as President of apdo-uk - the Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers. Our members feel very strongly about the issue, for several reasons.

  • Appreciate what exactly constitutes a hoarder - and when the answers are much simpler and more easily dealt with 
  • Recognise what help is available and where that help can come from
  • From a professional organiser's perspective, to be able to offer appropriate support and assistance - and to know when other interventions are needed beyond those we can offer.

I feel strongly that - as with all unwanted behaviours - we all need to be honest with ourselves: to recognise the help we require, and to seek that help accordingly. Have a look at the article, and see what you think.